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Fig. 778. Distribution of the maxillary and mandibular nerves, and the submaxillary ganglion

Maxillary Nerve

CN V (n. maxillaris; superior maxillary nerve) ( Fig. 778), or second division of the trigeminal, is a sensory nerve. It is intermediate, both in position and size, between the ophthalmic and mandibular. It begins at the middle of the semilunar ganglion as a flattened plexiform band, and, passing horizontally forward, it leaves the skull through the foramen rotundum, where it becomes more cylindrical in form, and firmer in texture. It then crosses the pterygopalatine fossa, inclines lateralward on the back of the maxilla, and enters the orbit through the inferior orbital fissure; it traverses the infraorbital groove and canal in the floor of the orbit, and appears upon the face at the infraorbital foramen. At its termination, the nerve lies beneath the Quadratus labii superioris, and divides into a leash of branches which spread out upon the side of the nose, the lower eyelid, and the upper lip, joining with filaments of the facial nerve.

Mandibular Nerve

(n. mandibularis; inferior maxillary nerve) (Figs. 778, 781) supplies the teeth and gums of the mandible, the skin of the temporal region, the auricula, the lower lip, the lower part of the face, and the muscles of mastication; it also supplies the mucous membrane of the anterior two-thirds of the tongue. It is the largest of the three divisions of the fifth, and is made up of two roots: a large, sensory root proceeding from the inferior angle of the semilunar ganglion, and a small motor root (the motor part of the trigeminal), which passes beneath the ganglion, and unites with the sensory root, just after its exit through the foramen ovale. Immediately beneath the base of the skull, the nerve gives off from its medial side a recurrent branch (nervus spinosus) and the nerve to the Pterygoideus internus, and then divides into two trunks, an anterior and a posterior.

(text modified from Gray's Anatomy)

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Gray H. Anatomy of the human body. (1918) Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, May 23) Embryology Gray0778.jpg. Retrieved from

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current13:31, 15 May 2013Thumbnail for version as of 13:31, 15 May 2013600 × 630 (101 KB)Z8600021 (talk | contribs) ==Fig. 778. Distribution of the maxillary and mandibular nerves, and the submaxillary ganglion== (text modified from Gray's Anatomy) {{Gray Anatomy}} Category:Neural